Google Image to show example of train crossing.
Yesterday because of the grace of God I believe we survived what could have been a catastrophic train wreck with our bus and I wouldn't be here to be sharing these cute pony ride photos of the kids below. So yesterday we headed to the next town over of Buda to go to the annual Wiener Dog Races Festival. We attended it back in 2009 and had a great time! They had a designated parking area and free school bus shuttles to the Festival. We parked and got on a bus along with a whole bunch of cute wiener dogs and their owners. It was just a short 5-10 minute ride to the Festival park. We were probably about 50 yards from the bus drop off and there was a lot of traffic with cars and buses, it was moving really slow. I didn't even notice but our bus was slowly moving over train track crossing. Next thing I know the train crossing lights start flashing and the train crossing bar lowers and hits the roof of our bus literally right on top of where James and I were sitting (we were about 6 rows back from the front) so that can give you a picture of how far over the tracks we were. I didn't start panicking, just thought "oh this is strange" (it didn't click yet). It wasn't until I looked to my left out the window that I saw a train coming. Stephen and I looked across the aisle at each other in shock. The driver put the bus in reverse and started inching back with the crossing bar dragging on top the bus, but the train was barreling down fast and obviously not braking. I started to panic inside, but tried to remain calm. I looked behind me and many people started getting up out of their seats in panic. The bus driver yelled, "I need to back up!" and then a man sitting in the back of the bus yelled back, "You've got 20 feet! Back up! Back up!". I guess the cars behind our bus must have backed up, but I was thinking better to ram the car behind us then have the bus get hit by the train. So he backed up a few more feet only to clear the nose of the bus from the tracks and then the fast moving train just whisked by. Gulp. I think everyone in the train just got quiet and we all looked at each other thinking that was a very close call. Eventually the long train passed (I think if it would have tried to brake at the speed it was going or even hit the front of our bus it would have derailed). And the crossing bar lifted from on top our bus. I think our driver was in shock too. He obviously made the mistake of inching forward over the tracks instead of waiting behind the line until their was enough room on the other side of the tracks.
I'm going to call the school bus transportation tomorrow to let them know what happened. I think it's important they remind all their drivers about the policy when crossing train tracks. Madeline rides a school bus everyday, thankfully her bus doesn't have to cross any tracks but I just wouldn't want this mistake to ever occur again.
So I am very thankful to God that our lives were spared yesterday, that we were able to get off of that bus and enjoy the Festival. We even paid the ridiculous price of $5 a pony ride for the kids to enjoy. But there is no price tag on our lives, and I would've been devastated if anyone lost theirs yesterday on that bus.